Jonathan Gannon Gets A Pillar For The Defense
Round 1, Pick 15 (via HOU) — Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
Thanks to a savvy trade down with the Texans at the 2023 NFL Draft, the Cardinals return to the podium at No. 15 overall in this mock draft. Head coach Jonathan Gannon may have passed on a defensive pillar earlier in the article, but that won’t happen again with Dallas Turner still on the board.
Turner isn’t quite the prospect of his former teammate Will Anderson Jr. — who, ironically enough, was the player taken at Arizona’s initial draft placement in 2023. But this shouldn’t take away from Turner’s talent; he’s a stud pass rusher in his own right.
Few in the country are as natural at getting into the offensive backfield as the Alabama star. He displays a lightning-quick first step and has hand usage that MMA fighters would kill for. Assuming Turner can add more strength at the point of attack, he could develop into an every-down option for Gannon’s upstart defense.
Round 2, Pick 33 — Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State
The Cardinals dip back into the Ohio State pool with their first selection on Day 2. Denzel Burke burst onto the scene as a true freshman with the Buckeyes before witnessing a disastrous sophomore slump in 2022. Thankfully, Burke has regained his elite form in Year 3 on campus and is playing his way into the first-round discussion.
Arizona lacks a building block at cornerback, so landing a player capable of topping the depth chart for the next half-decade should rank high on the offseason checklist. With Burke, Gannon gets an uber-competitive cornerback who flexes flawless footwork and impressive ball skills when working against assignments downfield.
Offensive Line Reinforcements Are On The Way!
Round 2, Pick 35 (via NE) — Cooper Beebe, OL, Kansas State
The Cardinals added another second-round pick in the aforementioned trade down on Day 1. That move gives Arizona a chance to beef up the offensive line around Murray. Kansas State veteran Cooper Beebe has been a mainstay in the trenches since arriving to Manhattan.
Beebe can play tackle or guard at the next level, although he profiles best on the interior. Slotting the Wildcat alum into a starting role at guard would instantly improve the unit as a whole. His impeccable technique, including stellar hand usage and polished footwork, will allow Beebe to carve out a decade-long career on Sundays.